The Strange Prediction Made About 21st Century Women

The people of the past have made plenty of strange predictions about the future. By the 21st Century, for instance, flying cars would whiz between mile-high buildings constructed of shimmering metal. Or, if you prefer, you could jetpack to work — and we'd all have robotic butlers to serve us when we got home. Unfortunately, those of us now living in that future know that these utopian visions never played out, so we look back on them and laugh. Our own predictions about the future couldn't possibly be as silly as these old theories, right? As for past predictions about our present age, one particularly strange theory pertains to the average woman of the 21st century.

Per Smithsonian Magazine, in December 1950, the Associated Press distributed an article titled "How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D." The article's content ranged from the future of movies to the 21st Century economy, but perhaps the most intriguing section was written by the editor Dorothy Roe. According to Roe, "The woman of the year 2000 will be an outsize Diana, anthropologists and beauty experts predict. She will be more than six feet tall, wear a size 11 shoe, have shoulders like a wrestler and muscles like a truck driver." According to Roe, not only would women be tremendously tall, but they'd also have "perfect, though Amazonian" proportions, "because science will have perfected a balanced ration of vitamins, proteins and minerals that will produce the maximum bodily efficiency, the minimum of fat."

By 2000, every female will look like Wonder Woman

Roe was mistaken on a few levels; not only do we still eat regular old food in the 21st century, but we've also changed our view about what bodily proportions are desirable. Roe's idea that women would grow to be over six feet tall in just five decades seems strange. But, according to Smithsonian, Roe's writings may have been inspired by another Associated Press piece from the year before. In that article, dietician Ann Delafield asserted that women were already growing larger than before. "The shoulders of girls are 2 to 3 inches wider than their mothers," she claimed. "Their gloves are several sizes larger than Mom's." Delafield attributed this apparent growth to women's increased exposure to sunlight and the vitamins it provides. In reality, per AP News, women today are only 0.5 inches taller than they were in the 1960s — a slight change primarily due to diet, not sunlight.

It should be said that not all of Roe's predictions were equally outlandish. Roe also wrote that, by 2000, women would engage in sports like football and baseball, and have the same careers as men — all true. But Roe's final theory about 21st Century women gets a bit more tragic with each passing year: "She may even be president."